USNS Salvor docks at L&T’s Kattupalli Shipyard near Chennai following repair agreement with US Navy


Military Sealift Command’s rescue and salvage ship USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52) arrived at Larsen & Toubro Ltd, commonly known as L&T Shipyard, in Kattupalli near Chennai, India, for voyage repairs on July 9, 2023.  USNS Salvor is the third U.S. Navy ship visiting L&T Shipyard for voyage repairs, after USNS Charles Drew and USNS Matthew Perry.

US Navy has signed Master Ship Repair Agreement with L&T, furthering US-India naval sector repair and maintenance cooperation. The USNS Salvor, which was welcomed with a ceremony at L&T Shipyard on July 10 was the first ship to arrive after the signing of the landmark five-year Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) between the U.S. Navy and L&T.

USNS Salvor was received at Larsen & Toubro’s (L&T) Kattupalli Shipyard for voyage repairs on July 9.  The ship was received by U.S. Consul General in Chennai Ms. Judith Ravin, Mr. A.T. Ramchandani, Executive Vice President and Head L&T Defence Business, and senior officials of U.S. Embassy and L&T. This is the third U.S. ship coming to L&T Shipyard for Voyage Repairs. Earlier, Voyage Repairs of Marine Sealift Command (MSC) Fleet Support Ships – USNS Charles Drew and USNS Matthew Perry – were undertaken and completed on time by L&T.

L&T’s state-of-the-art Kattupalli Shipyard near Chennai is a major node in the Southern Defense Corridor that has been undertaking voyage repairs of the Military Sealift Command vessels. After an elaborate assessment by the US Navy and the Military Sealift Command, the shipyard qualified for MSRA. L&T signed a five-year MSRA with the US, making Kattupalli Shipyard the first master shipyard in India for American naval ships.

This is equivalent to undertaking warship refits, for which the Shipyard has already been qualified by the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard. The US Consulate in Chennai said that the development is set to strengthen the Indo-US strategic partnership and maritime security.

The agreement between L&T and US Navy marks a significant development showcasing the growing relationship between the US and India, further strengthening the strategic partnership between them in the defense sector.

L&T’s Kattupalli Shipyard is one of the modern shipbuilding and ship repair facilities in this part of the world and is equipped with a heavy ship lift, multiple dry berths, and wet berths to concurrently enable the building of new ships and undertaking repairs and refits. It will not only be able to undertake quality ship repair jobs and refits on the vessels of the US Navy and the Military Sealift Command, but L&T’s global network of offices & facilities will contribute towards logistics support in supply chain management.

US Consul General in Chennai Ms. Judith Ravin said: “This MSRA is yet another milestone in our ever-expanding U.S.-India partnership. This historic agreement is a direct outcome of the 2022 U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue and demonstrates US commitment to utilize repair facilities on a regular basis at the L&T shipyard in Kattupalli. This agreement will serve to strengthen our two nations’ strategic partnership and contribute to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

“This agreement marks a global recognition of our unmatched capabilities and facilities to undertake quality ship repairs and refits. We are happy to be of service to the US Navy and the Military Sealift Command. L&T will dedicate all its dynamism, innovation, and Shipbuilding 4.0 techniques to meet the quality and delivery requirements of the US side,” AT Ramchandani, Executive Vice President & Head of L&T Defense said.

[Photo Caption: U.S. Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin, USNS Salvor’s captain Capt. Andrew MacLeod, L&T Defense Business Executive Vice President and Head A.T. Ramchandani, and L&T Vice President K.S. Nathan onboard USNS Salvor at Larsen & Toubro’s (L&T) Kattupalli Shipyard on Monday, July 10. ]

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